MindReading 2020

Health controversies for Clinicians and patients - Exploring the impact of adolescent health challenges, clinician wellbeing and the role of humanities in Medicine

3 April 2020 | RCPI, No.6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

We are delighted to present a unique conference exploring how literature can help when we experience illness, and how literature can improve communication and foster understanding between medical learners, healthcare providers, service users and family members.

This is a collaborative day that brings together writers, humanities scholars, clinicians and patient groups to think about humanities in teaching for clinicians, compassion in care and doctors' wellbeing, and this year will explore adolescent health controversies. We will ask questions about the role of literature as a point of therapeutic engagement in caring for adolescents and young people.

Author Emilie Pine will be reading from her work, focusing on adolescence. We are delighted that there will be active "expert by experience" involvement (with Bodywhys, Refocus and the Asthma Society of Ireland). Children’s Books Ireland will also feature on an expert panel.

"Can literature and narrative improve the lives of young people? Do doctors and patients speak the same language? How can we use narrative to bridge the evident gaps? Is there a role for medical humanities skills in medical education?

"We are interested in how literature might play a role when we experience pain, trauma, and stress, as well as the ways in which literature might be employed as a tool to improve communication and foster understanding between medical learners, healthcare providers, service users, and family members."

Dr Elizabeth Barrett, Consultant in Liaison Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Associate Professor at UCD


View the draft programme for this event


What to expect

This is an opportunity to hear and engage in a series of thought-provoking lectures and workshops by clinicians, humanities experts, experts by experience and authors, including:

  • Emilie Pine, award-winning author of Notes to Self and Associate Professor of Modern Drama at UCD, who will be reading from her work exploring adolescent experiences and identity
  • Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan, Neurologist at University College London, award winning author of It’s all in your Head, delivering the inaugural Corrigan Lecture on writing and humanities as a clinician
  • Professor Femi Oyebode, Head of Department of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham and an award-winning poet and author, discussing Language and Meaning in Medicine

The programme for the day will include a debate on whether clinicians need training in Medical Humanities.

  • For the motion will be Professor Chris Fitzpatrick, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and Dr Hilary Moss, Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy at the World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland and previously the Director of the National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin.
  • Against will be Professor Neil Vickers, Professor of English Literature and the Health Humanities at King’s College London and Professor Des O’Neill, Director of the Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience and the Humanities at Trinity College Dublin.

Attendees will be able to choose one of two breakout sessions:

  • Language and Meaning: Empathy - This session with Dr Suzanne Donnelly and Dr Gordon Bates explores undergraduate education and humanities, sharing their experience of work with undergraduates at UCD and Birmingham
  • Clinicians, burnout and reflective practice - can the humanities help? With a focus on postgraduate working life, Dr Larkin Feeny will explore CPD-approved book groups and Balint Groups; Barbara Wren will explore compassion and nurturing this for clinical staff, and Dr Clare Hayes Brady will explore this from a humanities angle.

Is this conference for you?

This interdisciplinary conference is aimed at clinicians and humanities professionals with an interest in the use of literature in clinical and reflective practice.

Previous attendees have included physicians, paediatricians, psychiatrists, obstetricians, general practitioners, surgeons, psychologists, nurses, social workers, patient representative groups, medical historians, literature and humanities academics, psychotherapists, librarians and public health professionals.

Call for poster submission for MindReading 2020: Adolescent perspectives in clinical practice

MindReading is accepting poster submissions from those working in clinical practice, clinical education, humanities and medical history. Accepted posters will be displayed on poster boards at the conference on 3 April 2020. 

Abstracts should be emailed to Dr Clare Hayes-Brady at clare.hayes-brady@ucd.ie


Read more about the MindReading poster submission


Opportunity to attend MindReading event on 2 April 2019

On 2 April 2020, MindReading is also holding an event in dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, focusing on Controversies in health and the history of Vaccination in Ireland.

This is the opening event for an installation in LexIcon, curated by Harriet Wheelock, Keeper of Collections, RCPI and Marian Keyes, Senior Executive Librarian, dlr Lexicon, and UCD. We encourage members to attend and see this in the following 6 weeks!

On the opening night, speakers include: Dr. David Grimes, (DCU, University of Oxford), Prof Donal Brennan (UCD) and Prof Gerardine Meaney (UCD).

Registration for this event on 2 April will open soon - Check back here for a link to book a place online.

History of the MindReading Project

The MindReading collaboration brings together clinicians, patients and specialists in medical humanities to consider shared problems in medicine.

The project explores the patient experience through the prism of literature and personal narrative to inform self-care, patient-centred care, and to support clinicians with regard to reflective and clinical practice while investigating interactions between literature and medicine.

The first MindReading conference was developed by Dr Elizabeth Barrett and Dr Melissa Dickson in 2017 was hosted at the LexIcon Library in Dublin. In 2018, it was hosted at the University of Birmingham, and in 2019 at St Anne's College, Oxford.

We are delighted to host the fourth MindReading event in RCPI on 3 April 2020.

Learn more about MindReading

The MindReading collaboration has produced an online toolkit to support mental well-being at times of illness. It is aimed at clinicians and medical students keen to incorporate the use of literature in clinical and reflective practice. It has been supported by Summer Student Research projects, and you will find it at http://www.ucd.ie/medicine/capsych/mindreading/

Read more about MindReading conferences